Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A taste of revival on the streets…

My wife and I just had a beautiful baby girl this Saturday night, so we didn’t get to go out on outreach this week. So I thought it would be a great time to post an incredible story of revival "out there". This happened a few years ago, but it permanently marked me and many others for seeing Jesus move on the streets. We feel that it was a “taste” of what the Lord wanted to release on a much larger scale.

Read it and weep.


A taste of revival on the streets…

We had been going out every Friday night for about a year, attempting to reach the lost young people of our community with the love and power of the Gospel. We were green, not really knowing what to do. We got the kids attention by outfitting a huge army truck with neon running lights, a great camouflage paint job, strobe lights and blaring Christian rock music. When the young people would come over to see the truck, we would give them hot dogs, cokes and just try to get to know them. We saw some cool stuff from week to week and met a lot of good people, but we could never get consistent results. One week would be great, some kids would meet Jesus and another week would be a complete dud, with almost nothing happening. Part of the reason for this is because we weren’t preaching the Kingdom of God; it was more of a “Jesus loves you” type thing. Lesson learned.

Anyway, we were having a bad night. Nothing was happening. No one was listening to us and no one seemed interested in anything but mocking and ridiculing us. We were disheartened and discouraged. We were situated between a coffee house and a movie theater and there were a bunch of people milling around (maybe 400-500) walking to and from the coffee house and theater. Our problem is that we couldn’t get their attention for even a minute; everyone was hurriedly going from one place to the next.

Someone in our group (there were about 15 of us) suggested that we should pray, right out there in public. We agreed and on the movie theater’s sidewalk, we formed a small circle of about 12 people. We started to pray, softly at first, just asking the Lord for help. Almost instantly, a powerful anointing for prayer fell on everyone in the group. It felt like a mighty force pulling us upward. The anointing was so thick that we couldn’t even stand up and we fell on our knees, crying out to God in English and in tongues. People in the group started praying LOUDLY. I am talking about upper room, all by myself, no one around for miles kind of prayer and we all started doing it!

A crowd started to gather. I knew this because after praying for a few minutes in violent tongues out in public, I cracked my eyes to see a bunch of people coming to see what was going on. They were totally bewildered and you could hear them asking questions of us, although no on could answer (we were under a powerful spirit of intercession). “What’s going on? What are you doing?” they asked. Almost completely oblivious to the crowd now gathered, we continued to pray with all our hearts.

The tone changed from one of asking questions and curiosity to angry mocking and cursing. People were screaming, yelling and cursing at us. We had formed a circle on our knees. One of the teenagers in the crowd jumped in the middle of the circle and started to say something nasty, but right when he did this, he got the most horrified look on his face that I had ever seen! He looked as if he was on fire and he started to furiously scrape and grab at his clothes, letting out the most inhuman shriek I have ever heard. He then jumped out of the circle and out of sight. Another kid jumped in, taunting us as he entered the circle, again, he gave a horrified look, was clawing at his clothing and he let out a terrible shriek before jumping back out of the circle. You think they would get the picture, but this happened another three or four times. I and everyone else in that circle will never forget the sound of those shrieks, they were totally demonic and no human could have ever made them. I have heard them since, but only as people were delivered of demons.

The sound of the crowd reached a fever pitch, you could hear screaming, yelling, cursing, pleading, questioning and above all, bold and fervent prayer. I opened my eyes again to see our circle completely surrounded by people about 15-20 feet deep and there were easily 200-300 people surrounding us on every side. We started getting pelted with all kinds of garbage; cigarettes, coffee cups and gum. My wife was on my right side and I watched in slow motion as a loaded cup of cappuccino flew through the air and hit her on the back, scalding her badly. She was startled, but continued praying, even more fervently. I watched as others in our group, some of them young teenagers were pelted with trash, gum and cigarettes. Each and every one of them just shook it off and continued praying with all their heart.

We were in the middle of a riot. People had completely lost control. There was not even a hint of order or decency to be found in the entire group. People were cursing, ranting and raving. People were throwing things at us and it was getting more violent by the second as they started to push and shove us, trying to break up the group. But as quickly as it began, it ended. A group of five police cars arrived on the scene; the officers got out of their cars and started throwing people off of us. By the time they reached our group in the center, the crowd broke up and things returned to normal. We stood up from our knees, dusted ourselves off and headed towards our vehicles, shocked at what had just occurred.

We found out that while most of the group had been in the center of the riot praying, there were several others on the outskirts talking to people. In the 15 or 20 minutes we had been in there praying, they had led about 12 people to the Lord! Most of the people were totally confused and bewildered, but our team on the outskirts told them that they were witnessing a demonstration of the power of God. They agreed that what they were seeing was supernatural and gave their life to the Lord on the spot.

My wife and I got in my car and headed back to our church, where they were having a meeting. We walked in the door, covered in coffee stains, gum in our hair and looking like we were just drug through the street. We were a little beat up, but excited. We went to the front of the church and gave testimony of what had happened to us. The whole church rejoiced that the Holy Spirit had manifested Himself in saving power.

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